Here’s a novelty: Chinese hotpot with (our namesake) coconut water in place of stock. Eschewing the usual chicken or spicy broths — which can be laced with a ton of salt, grease and MSG — Chicken Legend’s recipe is meant to be clean and healthy.
Photo: Healthy steamboat? Yes please
A hot new trend in Shenzhen, the outlet’s young owners Jasper Tan and Dylan Dai are allegedly the first to bring the dish to Singapore. And though they hawk the meal from a compact little stall — with shared kopitiam tables — they take the business seriously. Their website is equipped with its own online reservations system (you’re going to need it — seating is limited) and they take care of the details. (Their soy dipping sauce is made in-house with a proprietary blend of herbs.)
Photo: Chicken Legend’s soy dipping sauce is made in-house
Each meal starts with a simple trough of coconut water, seasoned up with just a dash of salt. The flavour is pure and mild. Most folks go for the Regular Set ($29 for four) including a kampong chicken, prawns, sweetcorn, mushrooms, cabbage, mushroom balls and crabstick.
There’s a recommended order to preparing the meal. Once the coconut water comes to a boil, dump in the chicken (it needs to cook for at least six minutes). Then, put in the corn. It adds sweetness. Cook the rest of the ingredients at your own pace. But do keep the prawns to the end — they change the flavour of the soup obscuring the delicate coconut sweetness.
Photo: Their Meat Set lets you have shabu shabu beef and pork instead of chicken
Other options include the Meat Set ($29 for four), which swaps shabu shabu beef and pork for the chicken. It tastes well enough but be warned, the red meat muddies the soup, leaving it with an unappetising grey hue. There’s also a lighter Seafood Set ($35 for four) featuring salmon, dory, scallops and mussels. If you’re flying solo, order up the steamboat for one. Their Small Set ($20 for one or two) comes with just half a kampong chicken.
Photo: Eating solo? Order the Small Set
Now, coconut water hotpot is no earth shattering experience (and is definitely a little gimmicky), but it’s a solid wholesome option, especially if you’re planning a post-CNY detox.
Chicken Legend is at 15 Upper East Coast Rd. cor Jalan Tua Kong, 9295-0650. Open Tue — Sun 5:30 — 11pm.
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